Your estate plan may be the most important document you leave behind for your loved ones. It is vital that you keep your estate plan up-to-date at all times—you never expect the unexpected.
If your estate plan has not been updated before shorty your die, your assets may be distributed to someone who is no longer part of the family. If any assets were not included in your estate plan, they will be distributed according to state law.
To make sure your wishes are followed upon your death, make sure your estate plan is regularly updated to reflect any changes. Here are ten instances in which your estate plan may require an update.
Ten reasons why your estate plan may need to be revised
1. Tax law changes
Tax laws are constantly changing. Take advantage of the changes and make sure you are paying the correct amount.
2. Your assets changed
If you have acquired more assets, like a new car or vacation home, you will want to name a beneficiary.
3. Your liabilities changed
You may want to reevaluate your beneficiaries and adjust your estate plan if you have experienced a significant stock loss or had to sell your car to pay for medical bills.
4. You want to add someone as a beneficiary
If you have recently gotten married, had a child or welcomed a new grandchild, you may want to add them as a beneficiary of your estate.
If you have young children, make sure your estate plan outlines who you would like to become their legal guardian should anything happen to you.
5. You got divorced
After a divorce, you will want to remove your ex-spouse as the main beneficiary of your estate.
6. One of your beneficiaries has passed away
Upon the death of a beneficiary, you may want to add a new beneficiary in their place.
7. You have moved to another state
Each state has slightly different estate planning laws, you will want to make sure your estate plan is still valid in your new location.
8. Your estate plan is more than three years old
Even if you don’t think there have been any changes in your life that would require you to update your estate plan, there probably are. Even small asset or liability changes may require an update.
9. You want to change your power of attorney
Remember that the person you chose to be your power of attorneymay be legally responsible for managing your healthcare and legal affairs. Make sure it is someone you trust, that is capable of making those decisions.
10. Any special requests or provisions
You can make provisions to your estate plan. For example, if you are worried about a beneficiary blowing their inheritance right away, you can make provisions, so they inherit the money slowly instead of all at once.
Keeping an updated estate plan is the best way to make sure that your final wishes will be followed. You have worked hard to provide a good life for your loved ones and a well-outlined estate plan ensures that your loved ones will be taken care of.